Pricing your House To Sell

Comments (20)

Your asking price is likely the most difficult - and crucial - decision you'll
make when you put your house on the market. Ask too little and you risk leaving
money on the table unnecessarily. Ask too much and you may scare off potential
buyers. Most Sellers set their initial asking price at an amount somewhat higher
than they are actually willing to accept, fully expecting a buyer to open the
bidding with a lesser amount.

While price is the most frequently negotiated item in any home sale, you may
be able to creatively provide financial value to your buyer - without lowering
the price alone.

  1. major appliances such as your stove, fridge, dishwasher and microwave offer
    good negotiating power - while you'll likely be including some of them in
    your asking price, consider excluding some from the listing (the washer and
    dryer perhaps) to use as a future bargaining chip;

  2. window treatments, air conditioners, central vac, and ceiling fans are other
    extras that might entice your buyer and can be easily included later on in
    a counter-offer;

  3. study your buyers' personal situation and think of ingenious ways to sweeten
    the offer that makes sense for both of you - if they're first time buyers
    and you are moving to a condo, include the lawn mower and gardening tools
    (or other items you may be planning to dispose of) in your next counter-offer;

  4. if your existing mortgage rate is lower than current market rates and your
    mortgage is assumable, consider offering it to your buyers for savings they
    can count on after the closing - they'll enjoy monthly savings over the remainder
    of the mortgage term;

If you are serious about selling, don't price yourself out of the market. Overpricing
is, by far, the most common error sellers make. Although you might think of
it as "leaving room for negotiation", you might only scare off potential buyers
who could pass over it for more reasonably priced homes. They can't buy it if
they don't see it, so get them in the door. Better to stand firm on a lower
asking price than risk discouraging buyers and creating a stale selling environment.
To help you determine your asking price, contact a CRA (Certified Residential
Appraiser) for a full market analysis and property appraisal and then set your
asking price accordingly.

Copyright February, 2004 - Xstream Realty Incorporated

About the Author

Amie Walton is the president and founder of Xstream Realty, a Virtual Agent for managing private real estate sales over the internet. As an Accredited Staging Professional, Amie also operates Xstream Staginga Home Staging business located in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Suyun H 18.05.2010. 13:14

How to check the prices of the houses sold in my neighborhood? I am thinking about selling my house. But I want to know how much of the prices for the houses sold in my neighborhood?

Suyun H

Admin 18.05.2010. 13:14

go on or also you'll be able to find great info on the value of your surrounding real estate on Zillow lets you track current values and als will display amounts homes sold for.


Pegger 15.06.2011. 17:26

How much over the asking price are houses being sold for in Winnipeg? In your experience, how much over the asking price are houses being sold for? We're looking for a house, and have no clue how much we should offer on a house that is listed at $X.


Admin 15.06.2011. 17:26

Although the real estate market in general is flat to receding, there are spots where it's actually growing.

For example in most of Florida the market is in dire straights so offers of 80% of asking are pretty common.

On the other hand, in Joplin, MO there is virtually nothing for sale due to the tornado last month. When a home is listed there, there are offers well in excess of asking price within hours and bidding wars have become common.

You should ask your agent to provide some recent sales histories showing the original asking prices, any price changes during the listing period, and the final selling price. With that information in hand, you can construct an offer that follows recent trends and isn't too severely insulting to the seller.


Yangyang W 30.11.2010. 02:55

Does the house sold price from CMA include the realtor commission and closing cost if the seller is a builder? My realtor provided me a recent house sold price list from the builders. I wonder if those sold prices include the 6% realtor commission fee and closing cost. Thanks a lot.

Yangyang W

Admin 30.11.2010. 02:55

The builder may pay real estate commissions on some but not all of his homes, so it is figured into the price. Most closing costs are paid by the buyer, but if a builder had paid them, it would also be included in the price. Unless you can learn and analyze the circumstances of each sale, you won't know - and the builder is unlikely to tell you.


Ashley H 09.06.2010. 15:26

Where can I find the prices that houses in a certain area of Toronto sold for? I really like a house that I've seen in a Toronto neighborhood. I would like to know what prices houses in this neighborhood sold for because I do not want to overpay for this house. Thank you for helping me out.

Ashley H

Admin 09.06.2010. 15:26

I don't know if has any data for Canada, but they sure are pretty good south of your border. However, don't rely on their "zestimate" of value for your specific house, because this is a computer generated value and I have seen them to be 15-20% off, often because sales from an immediately adjacent, but non-compatible neighborhood where included in their mix of comparables.

MLS often has current LISTINGS online which give you a preliminary idea if your house is competitive in asking price to other offerings.

Last but not least, go see the listing agent of the house you are interested in and have him give you a list of comparable sales and expired listings. If they are really interested in selling the house, they play ball with a buyer prospect, especially if they don't have to share the commission with another agent.


Ashley H 09.06.2010. 15:26

Where can I find the prices that houses in a certain area of Toronto sold for? I really like a house that I've seen in a Toronto neighborhood. I would like to know what prices houses in this neighborhood sold for because I do not want to overpay for this house. Thank you for helping me out.

Ashley H

Admin 09.06.2010. 15:26


Sushi Kitty 20.08.2009. 13:41

How much should I put down as a security deposit for this house? The house selling price is $127,000 and I need to put down a security deposit. How much do i need down minimum?

Sushi Kitty

Admin 20.08.2009. 13:41

it varies by area but I would try $1,000. about 1-2% of purchase price.

Note even your own realtor will ask for more because they want you on the hook. they do not get paid until the deal closes. the more you put down the more likely you are to close.

But most sellers will never counter offer an earnest deposit. They will accept whatever you put down. If your realtor tells you more insist on $1,000.


Huiu 12.07.2011. 21:57

What priced house could I afford to buy? If I earn about 15,000 usd a year.
What kindof priced house could I afford to buy(NOT RENT)?

Please give me an exact figure. The deposit would be about 10,000. Another other questions dont ask because I dont know- Im not serious just planning for the future. Please just give me a straight forward answer.


Admin 12.07.2011. 21:57

Your house payment shouldn't be more than 25% of your pay. That's about $469 per month. That would allow you to buy a home of approximately $85,000. However, you don't have enough of a down payment, which should be 20% of the purchase price, and closing costs, etc., so you need to save more. But I have to tell you that, in many cases, buying a home is more expensive than renting because you have to pay things like property taxes, insurance, all utilities, maintenance on the structure and grounds, etc. In the US with a $15K income, you may not be able to take advantage of some of the tax breaks that come with home ownership. Look, I'm retired. If I ever sell the place I own I'll never buy another. I'll rent something and let someone else take care of everything. You might want to think about that.


Sahmantha18 12.06.2007. 00:55

How much should I offer for this house? It is 6 yrs old, 3 br, 2 bath, 1750 sq ft. Listed at 175,000 but county records say assessed at 160,000. How much should I put in as an offer? I have never purchased a home before and do not know the normal procedure of how far under asking price a house usually sells. Is it rude to offer 150,000-155,000? (I can not go over 160,000.) Is this a long shot or doable?


Admin 12.06.2007. 00:55

offer $147,500. seller will counter. then you counter up to $153,000


The fuzzz(: 01.11.2009. 07:55

How much should a house sell for? Ohk well in Arizona, How much should a regular 2 bath, 3 bed house sell for?

The fuzzz(:

Admin 01.11.2009. 07:55

There is no one valid answer for your question. You may as well ask how much a gym membership should cost in that state. Price depends on location and demand. Ask a a local realtor for a market analysis.


zeebee 10.01.2007. 18:48

How do I start to sell a house and buy a new one? I am looking to move into a new house, selling my current one. I would like to get pre-approved for a mortgage so that I know how much house I can afford. Do I do that first and then hire a realtor so that I can tell him/her my price range? When do I get an appraisal? Is that something the realtor does? I'm really confused on the process.


Admin 10.01.2007. 18:48

1) get preapproved by a bank or mortgage broker so that you know if you can realistically shop for a home that you like. You'll be able to see what's out there just by checking online. You'll want to make sure that you can get what you think you can and still afford it.

2) Contact 2-3 realtors and ask them to perform "CMA's", which are "competitive market analysis." They will show homes that are for sale or have recently sold that compare to yours, giving you a price range. It's always good to get more than one becuase you get a feel for the professionalism of the agent- -and a second/third opinoni on the price. However dont just go with whoever says the highest-- some realtors will do this just to get a person to sign wtih them, and then force them to lower the price later.

3) The realtor will list your house, as well as tell you how much to expect after closing costs/realtor fees, etc. That way you know a range for what you have as a down payment.

4) You can shop for a house before yours sells-but you'd have to make an offer "Contingent" on yoru own home selling-- some buyers dont like this as it ties up their house while they wait.

5) your house should be schedule to clsoe BEFORE the house you are buying, in order for your loan to be funded. This means you might have to use storage for a week or so or live with friends in the interim!


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